By Sarah Townsend
Gulf states seek to tighten security at places of worship following the deadly suicide bombing at a Shiite mosque in Kuwait on Friday
Security cameras are to be installed at mosques across Saudi Arabia and Bahrain following the deadly bombing in Kuwait last week.
The cameras are part of a package of security measures that also include a legislative crackdown by the Bahraini government on anyone seen to be promoting an extremist agenda.
Bahrain’s Interior Ministry on Sunday announced measures to increase security following the suicide attack that killed 27 people at a Shiite mosque in Kuwait last Friday.
Security cameras will be installed at mosques across Bahrain, which will also be closed after each prayer session so caretakers can search them for suspicious objects.
Government officials will make field visits to assess individual security requirements, and additional security guards are being assigned to safeguard places of worship.
Meanwhile, legal action is being threatened against anyone who makes public speeches or religious sermons that threaten national unity, Gulf Daily News reported.
It quoted Jamal Bu Hassan, vice-chairman of Bahrain’s foreign affairs, defence and national security committee, as saying: “Security is top priority and all routes for [terrorists] into the country are being cut.
“There is more security at the borders and more stringent checks. Also at mosques, whenever there is an alert the whole country upgrades its level of security.
“It is usually not announced so that people don’t panic, but on the contrary people should feel safer with the higher level of security.
“Bahrain is under watch – there are more guards on duty, especially on Fridays, but not only in mosques. There is also heightened security in malls, markets and popular public areas.
“People should not be changing their habits – we do all this so they don’t have to worry.”
Meanwhile in Saudi Arabia, it emerged on Sunday that all important mosques in the kingdom will be fitted with CCTV cameras inside and outside to heighten security.
According to the Saudi Gazette, each governorate will also be required to nominate residents to volunteer as security directorates. They would be trained in first aid and rescue services.
The heightened security measures came after two suicide bombings at mosques in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait in recent weeks.
Saudi suicide bomber Fahad Suleiman Abdulmohsen Al Gabbaa has been identified as the man responsible for killing 27 people and injuring 227 at a Shiite mosque in Kuwait last Friday.
And 21 people died in a suicide bombing at another Shiite mosque in the Eastern Province of Saudi on May 22.
ISIL has claimed responsibility for all the attacks.